Sydney, April 18: Today Australia scrapped 457 visa program which intends to tackle the growing unemployment in the country. After the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced of introducing a new temporary visa and national training fund he said Australia will abolish a temporary work visa popular with foreigners and replace it with a visa requiring better English-language and work skills.
"The fact remains Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs," he said in a video today. "We will no longer allow 457 visas to be passports to jobs that could and should go to Australians,” he added. "The 457 visa will be replaced by a new temporary visa specifically designed to recruit the best and the brightest in the national interest. The new visa will better target genuine skills shortages, including in regional Australia, said Turnbull.
What actually is the ‘457 visa program’?
The program known as 457 visa allows business to employ foreign skilled workers for a period up to four years in skilled jobs where there is a shortage of Australian workers.
Australia will adopt a new ‘Australians first’ approach to skilled migration. Turnbull said the new program will ensure that foreign workers are brought into Australia in order to fill critical skill gaps and not brought in because an employer finds it easier to recruit a foreign worker than go to the trouble of hiring an Australian.
There were 95,758 foreign workers on 457 visas as of September 2016, according to the Department of Immigration. The majority of visa holders are from India which accounts for 26.6%, followed by the United Kingdom which accounts for 16.9% and China which accounts for 6.1%. The new visa program will include requirements around work experience, English language proficiency and labour market testing.